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Belly.io – Curated List of Programming Coding Streamers (belly.io)
234 points by NickBusey 31 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 45 comments

This is a great resource.

Programming has always been a second-class citizen on Twitch and has quite the fabled history. It started with people uniting under specific games when nothing other than gaming was allowed. A "Game Programming" category was eventually added as a special exception. Then Twitch launched Creative as the first non-gaming category. There was initial hype, Game Programming slowly died as a result and Programming was eventually made a sub-community of Creative (i.e. not visible in the directory). Then IRL launched, proceeding to lobotomize Creative and therefore what was left of Programming. When IRL got out of hand, Twitch broke it down in multiple categories and for a glorious 14ish days, there was a full-blown Programming category visible in the directory. It was too good to be true though and the recently launched and anemic Science & Technology (as part of the IRL break-up) needed to be saved from the embarrassment it was so they deleted Programming and told people to stream there instead. We are back to people thinking there is no programming content on Twitch.

Sad because it's a solid category with a lot of good content that no one can find. Never understood Twitch's stubbornness in not exploring it as decent vertical to develop.

Another resource worth checking out even if the formatting is a little jarring is https://github.com/bnb/awesome-developer-streams. There is a lot of overlap but it lists what people do on their channels.

I just got done with this morning's stream [1]. I've been streaming my open source work for a few months now and it's been fantastic. Having people come and help work on the code with me and contribute commits that I can review with them on the stream is amazing. Having dedicated, scheduled time to work on the projects has been great too. But really, getting to know and interact with the users of the software in real time is like nothing I've experienced before online. We even just released v0.5 of HomelabOS today, in no small part thanks to the help of my twitch viewers/channel[2]!

[1] https://www.twitch.tv/videos/429158038 [2] https://gitlab.com/NickBusey/HomelabOS/tags/v0.5

Twitch employee here. I've forwarded this up the chain. Maybe we can (finally) get a "Programming" category.

You used to have one, so it's less "finally" and more "undo that stupid decision we made".

I am new to Twitch (via this submission) and I was trying to navigate the Twitch site to find more coders but came up dry.

Please make programmers more discoverable!


Get them to kick the 'watch my weed plants grow' streams out of the science category while you're at it.

Yeah I used to love the Programming category

Just so you know, about a month ago I signed up to twitch looking for live coding. Couldn't find the appropriate category so I gave up. Is it really so difficult to add such a category?

I'm surprised it's the first time it's come up, with how popular kitboga's been.

Searching by language would be cool too

That's so odd. I can't imagine coding with an audience. Half of the time I'm not even coding; at work I'm often writing up little tests in Jupyter to make sure things do what I think they do. (Granted, this is porting straight Python to Numba, which is subtly different and has a lot of limitations.)

Has anyone done this? Is it easier to focus or harder?

I have done it for about 1.5 years straight, 24+ hours a week. Currently on an extended break to recharge my batteries but I'm definitely going back. It's slightly addictive and you come to miss it. The best part is you eventually end up knowing the other programming streamers which builds a sense of community.

In my personal experience, the productivity hit is overstated. It's absolutely harder to focus because of chat and the discussions that come with it, yes, but at the same time you have a camera pointed at your face and your screen is shown to the world. Whatever you normally do to distract yourself and procrastinate... I can guarantee you don't.

You also build a resistance to interruptions over time, which is an amazing skill for a programmer to have. I didn't believe it to be possible, but it eventually became so easy to pause what I was doing, interact with chat for a few minutes and instantly resume where I left off after.

To go even further, it's a great way to put in consistent work and keep motivation up for large, long-term projects. I have built the entirety of the Serpent.AI Framework (https://github.com/SerpentAI/SerpentAI) while live on my Twitch channel and I'm not sure I would have ever shipped it otherwise. The interactive nature of live streaming can give you that nice push on days you don't quite feel like it.

Streaming programming is not for everyone but I still recommend to give it a try. The experience is hard to put into words. I've had a blast and got to know great people.

How do you get into it? I think it'd be neat to try, but have no idea how I'd get going.

The Twitch "getting started" docs are surprisingly anemic. (Do they even have a growth team? This seems like table stakes.)

For someone who hasn't ever watched Twitch, and really just wants to focus on coding in a streaming context, do you have any "start looking here" suggestions?

Not really a guide. Just a few bullet points.

Start messing around in OBS (https://obsproject.com) and get as comfortable as you can using it. You can compose scenes, transition between them, set up your audio and video encoding and preview everything without streaming. You can make local recordings test things like volume levels and audio sync. It's fantastic software and it's how you will operate your stream.

For programming, things are as simple as they come: Have a main scene that does display capture and perhaps overlay a camera. You can add more bells and whistles if you want; the tools are pretty intuitive. I recommend also making scenes for "Starting Soon", "BRB" and "Stream Over". Having a browser in guest/incognito mode is a good idea. Be mindful of stuff like API keys, secrets, passwords and personal information.

Once you are ready to make the leap, you can link your Twitch account to OBS and when you press "Start Streaming" you'll be live shortly on your channel.

Before you do though, you'll want to spend a little time in your Twitch dashboard to set up stuff like titles, categories, tags etc.

There is a lot more to it that you'll figure out along the line. Live streaming is an iterative process and a skill / hobby that you perfect over time. Have fun!

Oh, solid. Thank you!

Suz Hinton (https://www.twitch.tv/noopkat) has a great article about her Twitch live coding setup: https://medium.com/@suzhinton/my-twitch-live-coding-setup-b2...

Also, check out the programming streamers on belly.io! Many of us are happy to answer questions and help out new streamers. :)

Excellent, thank you! Her setup looks impressive … I guess I was looking for an MVP of getting going: "You have a Macbook with a built-in webcam? You have a code editor? Great; you're all set. Now do this." This video — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yh5LI_d_JKM — seems like a solid intro to streaming with OBS. Will give it a shot, and will poke around the belly.io streams and see who might be good to connect with.

Thanks again!

That also looks like a cool project! I've made a bot to play a game called Gems of War. I've used some GUI windows thing to program the AI but it was terribly limiting and slow. I was going to start again using python and opencv from scratch but I was kinda sad I needed to code a lot of plumbing code such as finding the screen, and then finding sprites and things like that. Your project seems to do that and would save me a lot of hassle. I may try again someday.

Happy to see this.

Are there any streamers who do take breaks and surf around while others are watching? Start watching a movie,etc

That somehow would be more interesting than real time coding for myself.

Check out https://www.twitch.tv/instafluff ! He does livecoding, but also tends to get distracted by chat a lot and goes down random internet rabbitholes. All in all, he's a lot of fun to watch.

I’ve never streamed my coding, but I have enjoyed watching people on Twitch or Youtube do it. It’s different than typical programming tutorials I’ve seen on Youtube - I dislike those as I’d rather read a blog post because it’s easier to skim and go back and re-read things to make sure you understand them. Watching someone build a thing live is different though. It’s unedited, you can see how they work and how they approach a problem, how they handle troubleshooting, what their development environment looks like. I don’t watch them in order to learn how to do a thing (although I almost always learn something), but it’s more like watching over the shoulder of a developer as they build something.

>It’s different than typical programming tutorials I’ve seen on Youtube - I dislike those

Oh man me too, I've avoided live coding because of it but your post makes me think I should give some of it a watch.

There are few things worse than a Youtube video that should have been a blog post - I’ve encountered plenty of programming ones, but also lots of technical how-to things that just needed to be a few hundred words of text and some screenshots. I suspect it’s easier to monetize Youtube videos these days, so that’s why people are doing it.

As for live coding, it really is a completely different experience, and I expect something different from it. My only complaint is that it’s often difficult to find them - Twitch is very much oriented towards gaming, so finding the coders there is like finding the needle in a haystack. Hopefully Belly.io can help (can’t tell since it appears to have been hugged to death).

>There are few things worse than a Youtube video that should have been a blog post -

Yeah we're totally on the same page there. I want to read, reread, and reread (i'm bad at reading comprehension) when it comes to these youtube videos that should be blogs.

I'm a bit of a n00b and constantly looking for some good patterns or such, live coding might help but understand it a bit better than finding a monolith app as seeing it come together is often easier for me to understand.

I've been programming for a long time, but I find it comforting to see someone who I admire/respect/has more experience in a given area/ struggle with things too.

Youtube videos suffer from a lot of optimization hacks. The content takes too long to start, etc. Maybe livestreaming is still "unpolished" in a way that makes them good passive watching like all those music theory channels.

(Sometimes I have a stressful day at work, leave earlier, plop on the couch and put a Topologos Lutecium video. Trigger alert though those are not mathematics.)

Videos are much better, even tutorials in my opinion because blogs easily and all the time leave out pertinent details that a video tutorial will not be able to cover up. Missed the config setting? Won't work in the tutorial, will in the blog. YouTube is a very popular option for people looking to learn to code, talk about code etc.

I've been hanging out in the Science (Programming) community on Twitch almost every day for a couple of years and I can tell you that it's definitely influenced by the social aspects of streaming.

I've even streamed myself programming once in a while and I plan on doing that a lot more here in 2019. It's fun.

Streaming while programming is definitely slower, and sometimes unproductive. You repeat yourself a lot, since people come and go constantly, but the pros can sometimes make up for that; Sharing and receiving help/knowledge from your viewers is amazing. We all get stuck sometimes, and I've seen countless of times a viewer (myself included) have the answer or solution to the problem. Very polite!

The social part is definitely a big factor and you meet a huge audience of programmers of all levels worldwide.

Also I love to help, and StackOverflow can sometimes be boring and dry to look at. Watching and helping someone programming on stream is a lot more interactive.

It does sound like fun, and I might give it a shot. I had been thinking of putting some of my notes up as I work, but so much of it doesn't really lend itself to a blog post, at the moment it's mostly me banging my head against type inference stuff.

It's probably like singing. Once you get used to an audience, you can probably manage. Those that can't handle it likely quit.

I've been streaming on Twitch for about a year, before pausing it. It was a lot of fun as I'm a very talkative person, but in my opinion requires a lot of discipline. Sessions were sometimes subnormally unproductive because I was constantly distracted by the chat and getting pulled into complex conversations. Setting a timer for myself to ignore the chat for 20 minutes helped a bit though.


  - meeting new people, sharing ideas
  - if you're lucky and have a lot of experienced people in the chat they can help you out and spot bugs, potential mistakes, etc.

  - can be highly distracting and productivity-lowering
There might be more, but those are the most prominent things I can think of right now.

I think it's not a new thing it's long been around and called Peer Programming.

The only difference though there are more peers and sometimes it can become a brainstorming, which is cool although it depends on the streamer because some of them engage with viewers very less.

But in general, I think it's more beneficial than watching tutorial to see how we can we approach a problem rather then solving it directly.


I can see myself making streams like "scikit-learn from scratch" live at regular intervals. Is twitch all the tooling you need? Is twitch.com "safe for work"?

> Is twitch all the tooling you need?

You'd need streaming software (OBS Studio is generally recommended) as well as a good microphone and optionally camera. Of course you'll want to have a tab or two open to Twitch in order to monitor chat and your stream status.

> Is twitch.com "safe for work"?

I would err on the side of caution and say that Twitch is NSFW. Yes there's `Twitch Creative` and `IRL` and `Just Chatting`, but the site is very much centered around games. Every workplace is different though, so exercise your own judgement.

Also, it's https://twitch.tv, but it looks like they've got a redirect in place.

> I can see myself making streams like "scikit-learn from scratch" live at regular intervals.

If you want to actually build up a following, you will need to be very regular. Having a schedule is one of the most important things you can do to have any level of success.

This is pretty cool. Reminds me of the live webcam feeds that were popular for a while (and probably still are).

Only problem is it sporadically fails to refresh, resulting in a white "Oh Snap!" says-nothing-helpful browser error that forces me to reload the page manually.

is it just me or is the page down?

Can access the site itself but can't navigate to either /programming or /food.

I can't even get to the base page. nginx gateway error.

Does anyone knows sysadmins who stream like this?

Topics like setting up deployment, servers, more complex server setups...

Or did someone tried to do streams on this topics?

I imagine this would be much cooler than defined tutorial videos..

Not a lot, I've seen the odd thing on twitch, but it's definitely not common

I did some streaming on youtube. Any way to list youtube streaming programmers?


Can confirm Edit: seems to be back up

i dig it

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